Guayaki plans canned mate product

Guayaki, a pioneer of yerba mate tea, will add a new kind of package to its all-glass line-up: an aluminum can.

According to Guayaki vice president of marketing Pierre Ferrari, the new package is not an attempt to wedge the product into the cooling energy drink category. Instead, Guayaki intends for the aluminum package to expand the places and occasions at which Guayaki can be consumed.

The glass bottles “simply can’t be in places where our audience hangs out,” Ferrari said.

For example, he said, the company was in talks with Bonaroo. The four day music and arts festival represents a collecting point for current and potential Guayaki customers, however, its organizers don’t allow glass bottles.

Aluminum cans also offer other advantages, Ferrari said. They require less energy to create, recycle and ship than glass, and, he said, they may more readily appeal to mainstream American consumers.

Guayaki’s first canned product, Lemon Ginger Yerba Mate, is slated to arrive in July or August, Ferrarri said. Another can-based beverage is planned for release next year, Ferrari said, “unless the market tells us it was a bad idea, which I highly doubt.”